Now available in English, Styles of Knowing explores the development of various scientific reasoning processes in cultural-historical context. Influenced by historian Alistair Crombie’s Styles of Scientific Thinking in the European Tradition, Chunglin Kwa organizes his book according to six distinct styles: deductive, experimental, analytical-hypothetical, taxonomic, statistical, and evolutionary. Instead of featuring individual scientific disciplines in different chapters, each chapter explains the historical applications of each style’s unique criterion for good science. Kwa shows also how styles have influenced each other and transformed over time. In a chapter written especially for American audiences, Kwa examines how changes in engineering and technology during the twentieth century affected the balance among the various styles of science.
Based on extensive research in Greek and Latin primary sources and numerous modern secondary sources, Kwa demonstrates the heterogeneous nature of scientific discovery. This accessible and innovative introduction to scientific change provides a foundational history for the classroom, historians, and nonspecialists.